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Monday, October 31, 2005
My failed CSI audition
Last Saturday I was working at the laundromat in downtown goshen when i heard a lot of yelling and crashing/banging noises coming from our clinton st. entrance. As i approached the door, I noticed a very drunk man was yelling, threating two teenage boys who had been doing their laundry in my laundromat. The door was broken and our bench was overturned. A few seconds later the two boys sought refuge in the laundromat and the man followed them in, cussing at them and throwing our trashcans across the floor. I went back to the counter and called 911. It was very surreal. As I talked to the woman on the phone the man exited and re-entered the laundromat like 5 times, the boys came over to the side of the store where the other customers and i were, and the man started chucking detergent bottles at them and climbed on top of the washers and threw more stuff at them - yelling at them the whole time. A few of the men in the laundromat guided him out but then he came back in and started back up again. Nobody wanted to touch him, he was too violent - way beyond verbal reasoning. He didn't notice me. He threw an open bleach bottle at the boys and then stormed out and headed east. Four police cars arrived just as he crossed 5th street. During this whole time I was ten feet away, describing everything to the 911 woman on the phone like some kind of bizarre sports commentator.

Then three police officers came into the laundromat to get their report. I was preoccupied with cleaning up the trashed laundromat, there was detergent all over the tile floor and people couldn't get to their clothes. The police told me to leave the mess, they wanted to take pictures, but i said no. Just then Matt Troyer (looking like an angel in plaid), who also works at the laundromat and happened to be eating in the restaurant next door, came in to see if everything was alright and took over the cleaning so I could talk to the police.

Then I talked to the police for a long time, they wanted to take me down to the station for my statement and I got really excited but then I remembered that I was the only one working. So I did a written statement, which is harder than you'd think, and gave the cops our surveilance tape and they got some statements from other people and then they left.

As I calmed down I thought about how the scene was like a scene out of CSI. Way cool, you know, except instead of blood spatter patterns for evidence we had detergent spatter patterns and instead of dead bodies we had overturned trashcans, a broken door and a broken bench.

Then I reflected on my performance as a key witness. Not so hot. The CSI people would've been real pissed with me, destroying evidence, not remembering when the event occured, failiure to remember laundomat's phone number, not remembering exact number of times suspect entered building, failure to remember suspect's face, shirt-color or pants-color, failure to remember exact quotes from suspect, extensive fumbling with surveilance tape and rewinding it way too far because didn't think the rewinding was working, refusal to cooperate with authority.....

But I wouldn't have completely flucked the test.

I would get points for:
-calling 911 and describing events as they occur in an even, only somewhat pissed-off voice.
-remembering laundromat address
-quickly describing action in terms of cardinal directions
-remembering all acts of destruction
-figuring out that the man had no relationship with the two boys, he was drunk and he decided that they were trying to fuck with him when all they wanted to do was do laundry and smoke cigarettes.
-remembering that the man was wearing a knit hat, a jean jacket and was stocky and definitely under 6ft. and was yelling in English
-doing the best i could to protect those around me

So, for my first time in a crime scene I think I did really well.

In other news:
I'm moving to dc end of nov and will be subleting an apartment on the floor below meg, kate, and teresa's!!! It's going to be like Friends, I just know it. I'll be chandler and joey - all in one. (Kate says they could call me jandler, or choey.)

Carlos Romero is coming to visit
So being the head of the newest organization that he has moved on to decimate, the MEA, for some reason he is coming to have dinner with my housemates and me. Plus he's visiting our work sites. I get to cook dinner. What does one feed to the person who forced their father out of a job because my father wouldn't say yes to everything that Carlos wanted? I just can't wait til the 21st.

Saturday, October 29, 2005
How to turn that pumpkin into a PC | | CNET
How to turn that pumpkin into a PC | | CNET

i quit one of my jobs today!
the sandwich one because it sucked mostly. actually i liked everything about it (the booze, the food, the regulars and my co-workers) except the whole having to be there thing. so i quit.

also. katie ho and val's mom rock! i had the best birthday ever today! tons o beef jerky, cookies, and home made granola from ms. amstutz and 2 happy birthday emails from katie, never mind that it was 16 days ago, thanks guys!

also. when i go into buildings to pick up or deliver something, often i have to sign in. today* i signed in after a "david taylor" and then later a "katie o'hara" crazy!

*okay, so not actually today, but earlier this week.

also, i got a condom from a code pink lady the other day with karl rove's face on it, in front of the court of appeals

and also here's photo of julia's roommate, nate.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The thing is, Kate and I are just really famous here in Capitol Hill. Pretty much, we're celebrities. yep! Everyone knows us and the paparazzi follow us on bicycles. All the time. Yep, we can't even eat at Burrito Brothers any more because the place is too small to fit all of our fans. We have to eat at big fancy places, like Montmontre and Mr. Henry's. It's rough being so recognizable, but, I'm getting accustomed to people stopping me in the street and asking for an autograph. I hope you enjoyed/are enjoying your stay in DC. I'll have my assistant send you an autographed photograph.

Scooter Libby is getting a trip to Indictment Town, population: him and Tom DeLay. Hopefully Karl Rove will be joining them soon.

Oh, and go to the Sojourners Web site to sign an action alert I edited, such is the exciting life I lead.

Thursday, October 27, 2005
clean fires...
finally, my woodstove burns clean and bright. after weeks of puzzling flame behavior, billowing smoke into neighbor's yards and outright dirty burns we have successfully vanquished the problem by cleaning out the hidden air tunnels. just call ben and joel for all your woodstove problems. now onto the case of the inevitable woo...

i went to murky each of the last two days, and you weren't there. it made me sad. however, i was wearing my gc sweatshirt today, and the nice employee asked if i knew you and kate. also yesterday, i was buying books at a bookstore with my goshen college credit card, and the nice employee there also asked if i knew you. craziness!

in other news, anyone who doesn't care about the white sox victory is just plain wrong. there are few things less important than the world series, and few teams more deserving the win. so shove your apathy up your ass!

in still more news, miers can't take the heat!

Excerpts from My Name is Rachel Corrie
So this evening I went to see My Name is Rachel Corrie, a one and a half hour monologue taken from Rachel's writings.

I don't know if the production will ever make it to the U.S. given the political climate, but if it does, you should all go see it. It is, against all odds, a deeply hopeful play. Her words are passionate and full of life. She speaks with a strong and clear voice, not just on the issue of just for Palestinians, but also in her love for life and her vision for a different way of living:
The salmon talked me into a lifestyle change. There's a hole, a pipe, in the bulkhead at the East Bay Marina. Every year salmon swim into that hole, trying to get back home. Salmon have to make it all the way up Plum Street in that hole. that hole is Moxlie Creek.

Once you know that there are salmon down there it's hard to forget. You imagine their moony eyes while you walk home from the bar in your slutty boots. It's hard to be extraordinarily vacuous when you always have the salmon in the back of your mind: in the pipe down there - on their way to daylight at Watershed Park. Salmon are the history that isn't trivia. They are what was here before."
I found I personally identified with many aspects of her story. She grew up in a medium sized and went to college there and did activism:
"I think about how many of doing any kind of progressive work in this region swim beneath the surface combing for what was here before, and taking inventory of what is now. There's the chance that you will be changed by what you are looking for."
I realized while watching the play that I was in Israel/Palestine just two months after she was killed there. I went through the same frightening questioning at the Tel Aviv airport that she describes - called into the side room, hoping they wouldn't notice my hands shaking.

She also writes frankly about the possibility of death and what it meant, something I never was able to share openly about in Colombia, even in my personal journal.

But beyond all these words, the performance captured an aspect of her character and her vivaciousness that I think is present in each one of us who swims against the stream under the city streets:
I took of my boots and my socks and set them down on the edge of the bridge... I squatted in the pebbles and fished interesting rocks out of the stream for myself. I cleaned them and held them and put them in my pocket. Then I stool like Huck Finn with my jeans rolled up, with my back to the bridge and my two empty little brown boots. I sang to the forest. I hummed. I made up waltzes. I belted out Russian drinking songs. Opened my mouth wide and sang."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005
i know most of you don't care
My White Sox did it! Only took 88 years.

Are you trying to get a rise out of me? If not, what did I do? If so: success!

Holy Maceral! We're famous!
Internet Archive has decided to preserve some 40 billion webpages for posterity.

Shoup made the cut!

cellphone banking
Africa's cellphone boom creates a base for low-cost banking |

For Sasha:
Fuck you, motherfucker!

I suppose though that it's not your fault, you can't help it.

For all you China SSTers
Very very funny lip syncing from students in China. They're apparently called the Back Dorm boys.

Monday, October 24, 2005
Bless the wikipedia
I've wanted to know what this was since high school!! Now I know!!!

Goshen is cloudy
Sure, I could've stayed in Louisville, or even the midwest but would I be able to hang with my hommies the way I am here. HELL NO! Goshen certainly has its share of faults but despite it all, I'm loving my life here. Besides, its the stageing grounds for the next revolution. Viva La Boheme

Sunday, October 23, 2005

So, today I did absolutely no school work. This is not because I am lazy, I tell myself, this is because I am only taking twelve credits. Instead of reading for class, I played music on the street with people from church, staffed a table about how awesome our church is, tried to explain to Celeste the genius of that new locking procedure, showed up too early to a very grown-up sort of party, skimmed through a book about the 1968 DC Riots, and watched a pretty good game. Go Sox!

Also: Sara! That's the best news of the week! I'm sorry I can't help with housing, but I'll keep my ears open.

(well around dec. 1st anyway.)

Dear Friends,

I have decided that I am done with college (goshen or otherwise) for the time being and will, in a month plus a couple weeks, move myself from goshen to dc. I plan on pursuing non-school-related activities, e.g. bohemianism, tap lessons, milkshakes with two straws, pigeons, books, love.

I will also have a job.

Do any of you dc-habitatin' people have any job and housing ideas? for me?

My initial housing plan (moving in with teresa and kate) is probably not going to work out, at least not for awhile, so I want to find some other options. I've been looking at craigslist and classifieds, but thought I'd ask you guys first. It would be cool to live with people I know or people that my friends know.

My housing specifics:
-my move-in time is very flexible (i can stay in goshen longer, come out earlier, i can crash at my parents' in silver spring for a limited time...)
-i need a place to stay for at least dec.,
-i come with a cat, her name is pigeon, she's spayed and declawed and everyone loves her.
-i want my own room

That's it.

I'm sad to be leaving the quality quality people in goshen but very happy to not be in school/get out of goshen/be near all the harrisonburg/goshen people in dc.


Saturday, October 22, 2005
i feel like a changed person!
i will never lock trough my frame again! cool.

(not the "breaking news" bit, but the locking stratagies just down the page some)

Friday, October 21, 2005
the Gift of Fear
So for my job at Jeff Street the pastor wants me to read this book called the Gift of Fear because the church is in a sketchy area and she's all worried about me. Also until I read the book I am not allowed to answer the door. The book by the way has lots of stories about women being raped and barely escaping being murdered. Its a page turner. So this afternoon everyone has left but me. I'm in an old machine shop all by myself. The doorbell rings, so I peer around the corner and see this guy with a knit cap on his head, long scraggy hair, and seriously worse for the wear clothing. He looks kind of like the homeless guys that hang out in the church during the mornings and drink coffee. He pounds on the door and walks away. than a ladder goes up the side of the building. I freak out, I run back into the office and try to call Cindy the pastor, no answer. I can hear them walking around above me. I forget that the 2nd floor doesn't extend over the church meeting area. I think that they must be in the building. I call the cops and sit in the office talking to the operator. When the cop comes I go out to the front and see the logo of the roofing company on the side of the truck. I'm such a schmuck. I can't wait to tell Cindy.

Burning Bodies and Vomiting Blood
Is it just me or does this seem like a bad Horror movie script?

Just when I think I've become inured to the casual brutality of the Bush regime, more stories come along that cut through my cynicism:

Guantánamo prisoner's force fed with dirty tubes till the vomited blood

US soldiers burned Taliban bodies

From an interview with a witness of the burnings:

Negus: The guys burning the bodies -- probably did they think were doing it for reasons of hygiene that were mentioned in the story?

Dupont: I believe that. That was the feeling I got as I climbed up the hill. As I got to the crest of the hill, they started burning the bodies. My initial reaction was, "My God, I've got to film this. This is really important stuff. It's my responsibility as a journalist to -

Negus: The PsyOps had a different purpose?

Dupont: I believe so. Nice guys -- they said to me, "We've been told to burn the bodies, the bodies have been here for 24 hours and they're starting to stink so, for hygiene purposes, this is what we've got to do."

Later on, when I was down with the PsyOps operations people, they used that as a psychological warfare, I guess you'd call it. They used the fact that the Taliban were burned facing west -

Negus: They were deliberately setting out to humiliate the Taliban?

Dupont: They deliberately wanted to incite that much anger from the Taliban so the Taliban could attack them.

Negus: Smoke them out.

Dupont: Smoke them out. They want the Taliban to fight them because they can't find them otherwise. It's a really crazy situation. And, you know, the fact that they're announcing these kind of, you know, sort of incredible statements, I think, says a lot about the war that's going on there. I mean, they really want to be attacked. That's the only way they can find them.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Make this your search page!

Monday, October 17, 2005
Photic sneeze reflex
New blog poll!

Pulled up to my garage door at about 8:30pm. There were a couple of guys hanging out around an old car in the abandoned lot two addresses down. "How's it goin'?" they said. "Hey what's up," I said. As I put my bike in the garage a new-type black Ford Escort with a dent in the body over the front drivers-side wheelwell squeeled up and three white guys in police vests jumped out. They put my neighbors up against the car, hands on their heads. I decided to watch, like I sometimes do in situations like this. I couldn't hear what the cops were saying, but they were patting the guys down. I went inside to drop off my bag and watched some more from the back patio. After a while the cops left.

I thought about it, and decided that it would be best to go out and explain to my neighbors that I hadn't had anything to do with the cops coming, that I just happened to get home at that time. I was worried about what they thought about me. We had a brief confused conversation. I was trying to disassociate myself from the incident, while they were trying to thank me for my association with the incident because they believed that I had been helpful in minimizing the harassment, or at least were saying in order to be polite.

It's nice not to have people assume the worst of you.

Friday, October 14, 2005
An Open Letter to Cancer


I demand to know why so many of the best people I know are suffering or dying because of you. Sometimes I feel helpless when I think of my friends who are being treated to get rid of you. Sometimes I want to pound on you in hot anger when I think of my friends, family, and co-workers who are dying -- or have already died -- at your hands.

Those of us who work their hardest to treat other people right deserve an exemption, the following people especially: my co-worker Zab, Sojourners community member Jeanie, and my aunt Beth.

Celeste Grace

For Mike, especially

Thursday, October 13, 2005
It's cygnus tigre!

And he's looking very hippy and getting it on with one of the New World Players from way back when. A founder, in fact, if I recall correctly. Is this some sort of time warp?

Is there any chance of getting a video tape shipped across the Atlantic? It looks like a real classic.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Good news, Joel

More Bikes than Cars Sold in the last 12 Months

quick 6 hour jaunt to nyc for my first premiere. Spent most of it last on my bike.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
So there's this dude in new york who looks homeless and wears a radio around his neck. anyway, he's super famous with all the producers and he's always on all the sets and he's SAG and what not. Anyway, he always hangs around sets in NYC. so I was biking by the white house and there was radioman! so I was like, radioman! what are you doing here? (not that I had ever talked to him before) anyway, apparently he was in town for the deniro film yesterday and the kidman film today. wierd!

Monday, October 10, 2005
Working on papers sucks!
So today, as I plopped my ass down in the computer lab, I wasn't looking forward to writing the final draft of my paper. (For those of you still wondering, I am taking my very last class right now! I'll be done someday.) I sat and procrastinated for hours. Finally, I forced myself to start revising my paper. Oh no! thought I, do we have reading we need to do for tonight? I can't get both my paper and the reading done in time! So, I went online to check the syllabus.

Yeah, it looks like we're on fall break. I don't have class for another week! You know, it's kind of like waking up and getting ready for school just to realize that it's Saturday ... except on a much bigger and much stupider scale.

I have so many jobs now I just don't know what to do with myself. One of the is at theCathedral Heritage Foundation where I am in charge of there "gallery" space that is used for art with spirtual stuff and loaned out to the environmental consultant. I am also supposed to start working at Jeff Street, a church, doing random junk for them. But the most exciting is that I work for a jeweler about 8 hours a week. Sharon is totally cool and does things like leave me the key to her house so that I can use her tools on the weekends for my own stuff while she is gone. She is also letting me put some of my jewelry in a Christmas sale/show thing that she does with her friends and lets me work off the supplies I use instead of paying cash. Best of all working for here takes me over the needed amount of hours for the program and so about 4 hours a week I am working directly for her and she pays me $8 an hour. This means that I can make my credit card payment and not have to be a corperate whore! Yeah! Did I mention all my bosses rock as people?

Landon: Palikir

Saturday, October 08, 2005
My favorite decade for movies:
I can't decide. Either the '30s or the '60s. And here's why:


City Lights ('31)
Top Hat ('35)
A Night at the Opera ('35)
Bringing Up Baby ('38)
The Wizard of Oz ('39)


Psycho ('60)
To Kill a Mockingbird ('62)
The Graduate ('67)
The Producers ('68)
Rosemary's Baby ('68)

Friday, October 07, 2005
Tending the lame:

Kate got hit by a taxi and Teresa has shingles. All are well. Kate has a fat knee and a broken bike. Teresa is a zombie because of all the oxyCotin. And Kate is happy because Julia is here and she doesn't have to work tonight. Teresa is happy because she got an internship at the Arena Stage!

Teresa looks like an old man. hee hee. I just finished my first messenger "rainy day." I think I was soaked from 9 in the morning until 7 at night. It was like going swimming with a bicycle and never getting out of the water for 10 hours. Who knew being a bike messenger wasn't always fun and glamor? I still enjoyed saying "It's hella let better than sitting behind a desk all day." to every turdbucket who looked at my puddle and said "sucks to be you."

Why do bad things happen to good people?
Because good people forget that when it gets wet all that oil that drips out of cars waiting to turn left onto Virginia from the Rock Creek Parkway rises to the surface into a nasty slick that will catch your front tire and send you down. "What? What? Boink my head of the road! Oh, I'm on the ground. Excuse me sir could you help me lift this motorcycle off of my leg?" Fortunately I've got nothing worse than some sore ribs and a shoulder of road rash. Likely I'll need to replace some parts, but they're cheap ones. In sum, here are some lessons:


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Given my preoccupation with this country descending into fascism and me being detained and tortured, this is a welcome development. I guess I can put a hold on the plans to seek asylum in Venezuela.

In the shorter term, a little research into the Public Guardian is very heartening (1, 2, 3). Not only do they seem to really care about the kids, but they also employ about 150 attorneys. That's a much larger number than I expected, and means that they're probably hiring at least ten new attorneys every year, giving me a much better shot than I anticipated. The flip side of the organization being larger than I expected would be that they probably attract more applications, but I think that all in all the larger size increases my chances of an offer.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
In lieu of comments
Way to call the exagerated violence thing. has been busy for the last few weeks rebutting fake emails about the supposedly ungrateful and unruly Katrina victims.

Joel, good luck with your presentation. The title of the conference reminds me of Pax Americana: Post-Cold War U.S. Foreign and Military Policy, a weekend conference at GC that I helped organise over 5 years ago. Those were in the pre-9/11 days when suggesting that the U.S. might be an empire was still edgy and leftist. Seems so long ago...

Interestingly, GC still has the conference website which showcased the early web design talent of one Eric Kanagy. I always thought we could have gotten a lot more mileage out of the logo. Of course these days, the U.S. isn't even trying to pass itself off as a dove anymore.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005
camp casey: fort wayne
so i'm just back from fort wayne where i was doing some photo work for christian peacemaker teams. camp casey, a grassroots movement to end the war in iraq, is well under way and conversations are going down at least every 26.5 minutes. i met at least three cool people and possibly got myself invited to speak about the "bicycle lifestyle" at the franciscan college. robert, one of the cool poeple, will be using his blog to spread the word online.

this weekend i'll be leading a workshop at the "
engaging empire
: community organizing and capacity building in solidarity" conference to be hosted at gc. the topic for my workshop is "it's your life: money, decisions and consciencenous".

in other news. i think i've chopped and stacked enough wood for winter. though i have this feeling i may need to buy a load.

Sunday, October 02, 2005
I got a mirror!
I feel bad for doubting that I would ever get one. Allen, not the one who broke it but his friend, hooked me up and they installed it too. They offered to get me a bumper for $50... I told them I would think about it. hmmm I'm racking up the connections.

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